BIRTH SOVEREIGNTY

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BIRTH SOVEREIGNTY is the wisdom that a woman/person has ultimate authority and governance over her/their own body.

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A WOMAN’S/PERSON’S BIRTH SOVEREIGNTY supersedes any other law, governing or licensing body, profession or organization.

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Birth sovereignty is physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual, cultural, and ancestral ownership of one’s self, physiology, sexuality and birth process. 

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Birth sovereignty involves an ongoing commitment to break down any obstacles in the way of intuitive, perceptive and woman/person-centered birth care.

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Sovereign birth understands that a woman/person is free to choose her/their birth provider, birth setting, and/or route of birth. As she/they govern her/their own body, she/they can choose a hospital, birth center or home birth. She/they can change her/their mind at any time. She can choose an obstetrician, a nurse-midwife, a professional midwife, a traditional birth keeper, or her own intuitive wisdom to be present/guide her birthing space. She can change her mind at any time.

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Sovereign birth understands a woman/person may choose to birth spontaneously, and without intervention. This includes birth attendants, language, suggestion, pharmacologic agents or medical intervention (such as IV fluid, artificial rupture of membranes, pitocin augmentation, epidural anesthesia, instrumental birth, or surgical birth.) Or a woman/person may choose, or REFUSE, any of these interventions, at any time, after education and legally valid informed consent.

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Sovereign birth means a woman may wait to begin labor, or to choose to induce her labor after thorough education, explanation and legally valid informed consent. Or a woman may choose to birth via Cesarean. Regardless of what she chooses, she should be no less respected in her choice, or her wishes any less honored.

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Sovereign birth means sovereignty in any and every birth setting. Sovereignty begins and ends with a woman/person/family. Every professional or guide that enters a birthing space understands the profound impact and imprint of the birth experience on the mother/baby/family/community, and speaks and acts accordingly. Every human being present during the birth, be it a significant other/spouse, family member, friend, doula, midwife, nurse, surgeon, anesthesiologist, or scrub technician, must understand the profound meaning and power of the birth experience, and speak and act accordingly.

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Birth Sovereignty heals woman and families, and protects women and babies. But it also heals families, communities, cultures, races, professions, governments, and nations.

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PEACE ON EARTH BEGINS WITH BIRTH = LET US ACCEPT NOTHING LESS.

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Sincerely, Kate @taprootdoula

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